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Journal Writing Project: Jamie Rose Howe

Fri, Feb 28th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Eighteen years I have experienced life here on this planet. In this world there is hunger, wealth, poverty, divorce, terrorism, hate, and love. Ive experienced eighteen years of it, of And as I approach graduation, it gets more and more clear every day. Life and the real world are becoming reality and it almost feels like the next time I blink, my innocent high school years will be over and my non-artificial, complete reality-life will begin.

Thoughts mingle in my head of what actually is to come. Growing up all my life, the real world wasnt a reality; and when I thought it was, it was actually all a fairytale. Fairytales of prince charming, perfect children, and the wealthiest career imaginable. And now its a slap in the face because the perfect fairytale is like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; you strive for it all your life but you dont know if its actually there...

Are the pot of gold, the famous white light, and nirvana just figments of creativity we thought of when we were young? Do we still strive for these dreams even as grown adults, still believing and imagining there is a wondrous ending to this beginning?

Is there really the man of my dreams out there that will sweep me off my feet one day? Is it really possible to have the perfect children and have them be perfect in every aspect of their life? Will I actually pursue my dream job and make amounts of money I have never thought possible? Is my life going to be a long and healthy one? Will I be at peace with myself when I die? Is there a perfect ending to this perfect beginning? I...dont...know.

I have realized, though, that as soon as I put on my cap and gown and enter my high school gym for the last time as a student, my life will begin. I know that as soon as my diploma hits the palm of my hand, life and reality begins. My path of life will take a sharp turn in the direction I have planned for it to go, but as soon as Im on that open road anything can happen. Anything is possible in life. I will come across holes, cracks, detours, accidents, and deaths. And I will get lost, oh, I will lose the way. Im lost right now thinking about it. Yet, the sight of the gold at the end of the rainbow still plays over and over again in my mind. I never lose sight of it. I never lose my map to my final destination. I never lose hope of my goals and dreams. I never lose faith in my God. And I will never lose the love I have received on the way. Im on my way to create myself from a piece of paper called a diploma signed by my principal. On my way... to make a home, a living, and a life out of a piece of paper called an education.

Will I even know that I found the gold or fulfilled my life? Will I ever be able to say I lived my life to the fullest? Will I see the white light? I dont know, I will never know until that moment when its my turn to die. Yet, until then, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is all Ive got... and its all I need to survive in the real world as an adult.

Jamie Howe is a student at Fillmore Central High School.

The Journal Writing Project focuses on the writing of area young people.

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